As campaign for Tuesday’s fresh presidential election closes at 6am today, pastors from different denominations yesterday told Malawians that it is possible to change the destiny of Malawi.
Speaking at a news conference at Blantyre Baptist Church at Chichiri, Blantyre, the pastors appealed to every citizen in the country to follow the way of peace, adding that political differences should not bring unnecessary physical and psychological injury to others as the nation goes to the presidential poll.
The pastors, who came in their individual capacities were Vincent Chirwa and Fletcher Kaiya of Jerusalem Baptist Church, Charles Makata of Assemblies of God and Kingsley Ntwana of Revival Life.
Pastor Chirwa, addressing the journalists, said it was their prayer that if the electoral officers are God-fearing, they will conduct themselves faithfully with a clear conscious of not being influenced by anything other than the truth.
“We urge all voters to prayerfully consider casting their ballot for someone who will address the current challenges of our nation, taking into account the well-being of all Malawians,” Chirwa said.
Chirwa implored whoever will win fairly and credibly to celebrate with grace, without a sense of triumphalism and aggravation of anger towards those who will lose.
“We equally request that those who will lose fairly and credibly to accept their loss with grace, without unwarranted display of anger that results in chaos,” he said.
The pastors urged Malawians to come out and exercise their right to vote—choose the leader with integrity—whom God wants.
They condemned what other religious leaders have been doing by telling their flock to vote for a particular candidate.
They also said they have witnessed a departure from one of the foundational pillars of the nation, which is the rule of law.
The pastors said they have witnessed the failure by the President to respect the fundamental principle of separation of power and the independence of the Judiciary as enshrined in the Constitution.
“The latest case has been the attempt to fire the Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and Justice of Appeal Edward Twea. This Executive siege is a violation of a sacred principle that is meant to protect our democracy.
He said tribal considerations and nepotism which are currently prevalent are cancerous and damaging to the unity of Malawi and must end forthwith.
The concerned pastors also reprimanded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), a national broadcaster, which they said is being abused by government to manipulate the minds of unsuspecting Malawians by speaking positively of and defend every act of government.
“At the same time, MBC is castigating any person who is perceived to be opposing government and speaking the truth.,” Chirwa complained.
He said the irony was that during the period following the referendum in 1993, Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda who was vilified as a dictator, opened up MBC and allowed pressure groups and later opposition parties to air their views.
“This is a sharp contrast after 1994 under multi-party governance and during a democratic dispensation by so-called democrats. All governing parties that have been there, United Democratic Front, Peoples Party and DPP, have failed to free MBC,” he said.
Pastor Kaiya also bemoaned political violence and urged political leaders to bring that to an end.
He cited ills such as killing of a police officer at Msundwe in Lilongwe, raping of women allegedly by members of the Malawi Police Service, stoning and burning of vehicles and offices and an MP threatening people of her constituency that they should not allow opposition to come and campaign.